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** HOW DO FORMAL CHARGES HELP IN THE SELECTION OF LOWEST ENERGY STRUCTURE FROM A NUMBER OF POSSIBLE LEWIS STRUCTURES FOR A GIVEN SPECIES?


** HOW DO FORMAL CHARGES HELP IN THE SELECTION OF LOWEST ENERGY STRUCTURE FROM A NUMBER OF POSSIBLE LEWIS STRUCTURES FOR A GIVEN SPECIES?

Grade:11

1 Answers

Aarti Gupta
askIITians Faculty 300 Points
6 years ago
Lewis dot structure indicates how the bonding takes place in molecules and how the electrons are shaired in case of ions as well as the octet rule.However,in general, it do not represent the actual shapes of the molecules and in case of polyatomic ions the net charge is possessed by the ion as a whole and not by a particular atom.So a formal charge is assigned on each atom.Formal charge is defined as the difference between the no. of valence electrons of that atom in an isolated state and the no. of electrons assigned to that atom in the Lewis structure.
Formal charges help in selecting the lowest energy structure between no. of Lewis structures.This is because it is found that generally lowest energy structure is the one with the smallest formal charges on the atoms .Formal charge is a factor which is based on a pure covalent view of bonding in which electron pairs are equally shaired in neighbouring atoms.

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